CCTV cameras bought for CYG ‘vanish’
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Post the JM Road blasts, the state government floated tenders for installing closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in both Pune and Pimpri Chinchwad areas but the CCTV cameras used during the Commonwealth Youth Games (CYG) in 2008, and supposed to have been transferred to the Pune police, remain a question mark. The police are yet to receive the CCTV cameras and there is no clue as to where the cameras are at present.
The CCTV cameras used for security in the stadium during the Games were supposed to have been transferred to the police after the games, to be used for surveillance across the city.
During the 2008 CYG, the organising committee (OC) had spent around Rs 1.25 crore on installation of CCTV cameras at the venue. According to an audit of the CYG conducted by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) in 2010, these cameras were lying unused in a storeroom.
At present, no one knows where the cameras are.
Both the German Bakery blast in 2010 and the JM Road blasts of August last year highlighted the issue of lack of enough CCTV cameras in the city. Post the JM Road blasts, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar had announced Rs 30 crore for over 1,000 CCTV cameras.
The audit report states that inspection of documents by auditors of CAG proved that the Pune police commissionerate had in April 2009 approached the department of sports and youth affairs (DSYS), the body that oversees arrangements for the Games, asking for transfer of the cameras for security surveillance in the city. "The DSYS refused on the ground that the CCTV cameras would be used for the Commonwealth Games (CWG) in New Delhi. However, the OC never demanded these cameras for the CWG and they had been lying idle in the store, as of March 2011," the report stated.
The report adds that the "DSYS stated (March 2011) that the stored material was properly packed and protected and could be used in future. The reply is not acceptable as the equipment, although requisitioned, was not transferred to the Police Department for use in security operations on the plea that the same would be required for the
CWG. The risk of considerable loss due to deterioration of cameras because of prolonged storage cannot be ruled out."
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Branch) S B Tambade told Newsline that the police had not received the cameras. "We have repeatedly asked for the cameras, but are yet to get them," he said.
Meanwhile, deputy director of sports Manik Thosare said he did not know the whereabouts of the cameras. "I was not part of the CYG, so I do not know what happened to the cameras," he said.
Uday Joshi, the district sports officer at Satara, who was part of the CYG OC, pointed out that the CAG audit was done in 2010, while the CYG was over by 2008. "Post the games, the cameras were taken down and kept in the storeroom," he said.
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